Two person exhibition with painter Ananda Kesler, Blanden Memorial Art Museum, Fort Dodge, Iowa


Statement for: Entropy/Harmony

We live in a time of great chaos; political discord, social unrest, worldwide displacement of refugees, and environmental disasters of great magnitude. The work of Bales and Kesler exposes a coexistence of harmony alongside entropy. In physics, entropy is used to measure disorder, in its Greek roots, however, entropy means transformation. The work explores the idea that entropy is a needed force, a precursor for creativity, harmony and transformation. 

Bales’ work transforms industrial materials, often salvaged or recycled, into sculptures that evoke an experience of nature– thunder storm skies, light filtering through leaves, shadows of passing clouds.  Initially working with masses of materials, she works from complexity to simplicity, honing in on the most essential formal elements.

Kesler’s abstract paintings, reminiscent of varying moods of nature such as stormy skies or bodies of water under morning mist, are suggestive of natural phenomena and go beyond a literal depiction of nature. Some of her work includes geometric elements that allude to the mathematical underpinnings of nature. Kesler’s process entails selectively revealing and concealing elements of color and form, as the layers build the painting emerges.  The many layers of seeming entropy during the painting process result in harmonious and compelling imagery once completed.

Both artists embrace a welcoming attitude toward serendipity which often leads to unexpected resolution and a heightened aesthetic.  These results would not have been achieved with a more precisely planned and controlled approach.

Works by both artists articulate brevity, limiting color palette or materials, in order to reveal an essential nature. With the artists working as alchemists, harmonious works of art are created out of rubble and chaos.As life imitates art, it is this art practice that aims to inspire a transformation of the apparent chaos and stress of our daily life, both as individuals and as a collective community, and with it to create harmony and beauty – bit by bit, one element at a time.